Hereafter: Interview with star Matt Damon

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Matt Damon stars in "Hereafter," directed by Clint Eastwood. The film, which surrounds three characters and their connections with the deceased, is being released by Warner Bros on October 22.

Damon says of the story, "The point isn't to sit there and be a lonely nihilist. The point is to reach out to the other people that are here on the planet with you. And I think that's ultimately a very life-affirming message."

 

"I originally thought that my schedule wasn't going to permit me to do it because I was on another movie when Clint called me," Damon remembers. "I said, 'Did you just call me and say you have a Peter Morgan script that you're directing? You want to offer me the part and it's going while I'm working on another movie? I'd rather be tortured than get that call,'" he deadpans. "But it worked out, luckily, because Clint is so flexible. I love working with Clint and his whole team."

 

On his character George

 

The one place George has always found refuge is in CD recordings of the works of Victorian novelist Charles Dickens, read by English actor Derek Jacobi. "George realizes that he's connected to this writer who's got all these ghosts in his head that are there with him all the time," Damon remarks. 

 

George's journey leads him to the London Book Fair and on a collision course with the story's two other lost souls. "I think all the characters in this film are trying to re-engage in life," Damon observes. "And George needs to come to understand the value of this gift that he has."

 

Universal themes

 

"The ideas in this movie are universal," says Damon. "It deals with questions that people are grappling with all over the world and always have been and always will be. So, I think it's great that it's a big story with such an international feel, and that we went to all these different countries to capture that." 

 

Working with Clint Eastwood

 

"As a director for 40 years, he knows what kind of environment to create for his crew," says Damon. "He knows a lot about the various jobs, and how to make it easier on everybody. And as a result, everybody really feels like they get to do their best work, and in a really fun atmosphere, too."